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noob questions with steam
Hey guys, my girlfriend just bought a 1930s house with a 1 pipe steam system and I've been doing a lot of reading and now have a pretty good understanding of how things work, but still have some questions. My first concern is the pressure gauge on the boiler. From what I've read most steam systems run on around 2psi, but the gauge on the boiler reads about 13 when its cold and around 15-16 when firing. The pressuretrol cut in is set as low as can be at 0.5. Could it be that the gauge is just not calibrated? Should a proper gauge read 0 when the boiler is cold? I have attached a picture of the boiler.
Another question is about insulating the mains. The main lines were not insulated at all when she moved in, it looks like they were previously insulated with asbestos and when that was removed they never put anything there. So we bought a bunch of 1" fiberglass pipe insulation and did the basement aside from the elbows. Will the elbows not being insulation make that big of a difference? Also how close to the boiler shoudl we go with the insulation? We stopped about 5 feet from the boiler.
The other question i have is about venting. Pretty much all of the vents were releasing steam so we have replaced most of them and there are a few more that need replacing. Now however, the radiator in the bedroom makes the room extremely hot compared to the others. There was a jacobus #C I believe that was originally on it that was replaced with a #6. It seems that the vents that were on the existing radiators differ completely from the chart I've been going by on maid-o-mists website, so I've been replacing them with the ones they recommend. Maybe a bad idea? That particular radiator also makes a very high pitched whistle noise with the new vent. One other thing I noticed is that there is a radiator in the attic that the previous owner had the valve shut off to it. Will this affect things? We don't really need heat in the attic so having it on or off is not really a concern.
The last thing is there is a hot water loop coming off of the boiler to go to kickspace heaters in the kitchen. These were not working and are do to be replaced shortly. Will they affect anything as far as the radiators go? I have attached some pictures of the boiler and the piping. the ignitor on the boiler had to be repaired so that's why it is apart in the first pic.